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As executive director of the Janelia Research Campus, Vale is responsible for strategic leadership of HHMI’s biomedical research complex in Ashburn, Virginia. Vale oversees integrated teams of biologists, computational scientists, and tool-builders pursuing discovery science with potential for transformative impact. In this role, Vale also serves as HHMI vice president and is responsible for reporting to HHMI’s Board of Trustees on Janelia programs and progress.  

A cell biologist and pioneer in the field of molecular motor proteins, Vale also leads a lab at Janelia focusing on organelle cell biology of liver hepatocytes. Vale was an HHMI Investigator at the University of California, San Francisco from 1995 to 2020. He is currently an emeritus professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF, where he has served on the faculty since 1987. 

Vale is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society, the European Molecular Biology Organization, and the Indian National Science Academy. He is the recipient of the Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research, the Shaw Prize in Life Sciences, and the Canada Gairdner International Award.   

Vale received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University.